Valeria Costa is a Brazilian production designer and art director working in film, TV and commercials. Her credits include “Rio I Love You,“ “Bald Mountain“ and “The Clown.“
I’ve always loved, and considered most important in every design job, thinking freely while developing an initial idea. Even if the process turns out different than the director’s expectations, “Brainstorming” is vital for me and gives me energy for the entire project.
Then I start thinking about the resources and labor to help me realize my design. In Brazil, the film industry is very small. We don’t have large collections of period furniture or props, for example, and our labor force is not necessarily “specialized” in that kind of work. But we do have an incredible professional we call "propmaker”, who makes objects for us - from gigantic sculptures to tiny prototypes. The propmaker works with any kind of material - resin, fiberglass, metal, rubber, wood, paint, paper, fabric and whatever else the imagination permits. The propmaker works often not only in the film world, but also in theater and the carnival, and therefore has a very diverse skill set! With my propmaker and my construction manager, I experiment in fabrication. Often, fabricating a piece of furniture ends up costing the same for me as renting it. Also, finding and renting the perfect piece isn’t easy… I often transform pieces I find to get closer to my design ideas - I dye fabric, paint furniture, make lamps out of antique pieces found in markets… That’s my way of designing and executing my designs.
In conclusion, I believe that we are all, as individuals and professionals, an accumulation of our combined experiences, the conditions in which we live and our habits and beliefs. My work style or “language“ is full of experimentation and improvisation, which are very strong features of my culture. As in music, as in cooking, dance and the visual arts, the “Brazilian way“ permeates our identity so intensely that it's hard to distinguish our personality without it.
back to top
back to FORUM